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Thread: Oldest usable powder?

  1. #1

    Question Oldest usable powder?

    What's the oldest powder you have used that still produces/produced adequate to great results? I think powders can last an extremely long time with proper storage methods. The oldest powder I've personally used...and still have a few pounds left, is H4831 that was WWll surplus sold by Hodgon. It came in a cardboard keg and was 18lbs if I remember correctly. We used it in our 22-250 (with a drop tube) for varmit shooting with great results.
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  2. #2
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default shelf life

    I've used and still do some old IMR types from the 50s and can't detect any difference. Still have a couple pounds of the same H4831 as you described. I scooped it out of one of the 50 pound carboard barrels that Hodgdon also distributed in bulk. Can't tell any difference in quality. Lot to lot differences may exist in all powders but I always start well below max and use a chrono so have no problems. I think if it is stored in constant, lower temps and is not exposed to extremes in temp or humidity most powders will last a very long time. One exception I'm aware of tho. If some types have been moved long distances and have been exposed to long duration vibration, burn deterrent coating can be lost which in turn may cause unpredictable changes in burn rates.

  3. #3

    Talking old N205

    I'm sure one would be especially wise to start well below max like you stated, and efficient loads loads can be developed for that particular powder using the normal precautions we all should use. I conned an older gent out of a couple pounds of the discontinued N205. He had it stashed in his dirt basement and the cans were rusted, but the powder was great. I acheived some tremendous velocities with it for my 25-06 for big game hunting and "managed" what I had loaded for quite a few years. It worked great on caribou, elk, deer, antelope and black bears. When I ran out of it, I sold the rifle! (not really...just time for a change).
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  4. #4
    New member George's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Scandinavian powders

    Hmmm, interesting. I still have an almost empty can of N205. Back in the late 60s when I started to get serious about reloading it was among the best powders I found for my 243 and 270. Don't know if there is anything to the idea but those folks from that part of the World seem to know how to make powder! More recently, I've found some of the VihtaVuori powders to be of a similar excellent quality.

  5. #5

    Talking MRP

    They replaced the old N205 with MRP. I'm sure it was a good powder, but it didn't quite live up to the N205 did it? Do they still make it? I don't know much about their other powders...what I use now is either IMR and Hodgon (mostly).
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  6. #6
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    Unique still has some of the original powder. They test it every now and again and it still is within specs. They first made it around 100 years ago so I think that is probably the record. They store it under water to keep the air out. Jim

  7. #7

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    1898 is the date of the first batch....like a museum of powder!

  8. #8
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    I have original Kynoch 9x57mm ammo. It runs about 50fps below the originally advertised muzzle velocity. It was made in the '20's.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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